"What a little moonlight can do" – an evening inspired by the great Anita O’Day
7 pm Preshow: We'll kick off our inaugural Words & Music series with jazz classics performed by FST singers Jamie Pitt and Sarah Marty joined by a talented jazz trio (Chris Rottmayer on piano, Ben Ferris on bass, and Michael Koszewski on drums). Pick up a beverage in the Rathskeller and come on up to the Play Circle. Doors open at 7 pm.
7:30 pm When the Music Stops: The Anita O'Day Story, a reading of a new play written by Madisonian Erica Berman and featuring Sarah Streich as Anita O’Day and the FST Jazz Trio (Rottmayer, Ferris, and Koszewski). Directed by Jen Plants with lighting by Tom Littrell.
Check out this Spotify Playlist to hear some of Anita O'Day's recordings.
Sarah C. Streich (Anita O'Day) is thrilled to be joining Four Seasons again after playing Thomas Jefferson in 1776 this past June. She also appeared as part of the Sondheim Confessional Cabaret in February, here in the Play Circle. Other FST credits include two runs of The Spitfire Grill, once as Percy and once as Effy, Lois Lane in Kiss Me, Kate, and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. In addition to performing, she works as a child-care provider. Much love to her husband and three children.
Ben Ferris - Bassist and Educator Ben Ferris leads a number of groups, including the Ben Ferris Octet and Quintet, which released their all-original debut album, “Home” in 2016. As a sideman, he plays and composes for “Mr Chair,” a contemporary-classical chamber ensemble, Nuggernaut, The Jon Hoel Trio, Gabe Burdulis and many others. Ben teaches K-5 general music and strings in Monona, private bass students, and directs the Madison Suzuki Ensemble. Upcoming shows online at www.bferrisbass.com.
Michael Koszewski is an experienced musician from Madison with a diverse background in percussive arts. As a chamber musician he has performed and held masterclasses throughout the midwest and east coast and was recently a featured guest percussionist with Oakwood Chamber Players for their 2016/17 season. He is an versatile drum kit player and pit orchestra musician, regularly performing with Four Seasons Theatre and Capital City Theater, as well as experimental jazz/rock combo Lovely Socialite and the Ben Ferris Jazz Octet.
Chris Rottmayer is a jazz pianist and a first year DMA student at UW-Madison. His latest recording project, entitled Reactive Synthesis, features his quintet and his original jazz compositions. Chris has been featured on albums by Saxophonists Dan Jordan and Jeff Rupert, and performs as conductor and pianist for The Lennon Sisters. He is the jazz piano instructor at the University of South Florida, where he holds a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies.
Jamie Niemann Pitt (Singer) teaches vocal and general music at James Madison Memorial High School, has taught at UW Summer Music Clinic, and is a co-founder of Four Seasons Theatre. While at UW, Jamie was a member of the Wisconsin Singers and Madrigal Singers, and she has more recently performed in the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert, Majestic Theatre’s Bootlegger’s Ball, and Four Seasons Theatre’s productions of Follies (Young Sally), Grand Night for Singing, and Great Dames Songbook.
Erica Berman (Playwright) Erica’s plays have been given professional readings as part of the Wisconsin Wrights Festival (Forward Theater) and Montgomery Davis Play Development Series (Milwaukee Chamber Theater). She was awarded residency to the 2018 National Winter Playwrights Retreat. Erica’s play No Wake was recently recorded for HBMG Foundation’s upcoming podcast The American Playbook. Thanks to the Four Seasons family for this incredible opportunity and to her wonderful husband Henry and family for their support.
Jen Plants (Director and Dramaturg) Director of last fall’s The Spitfire Grill for Four Seasons Theatre, Jen teaches playwriting, performance studies, and community-based theatre-making at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other Madison directing credits include adaptation and direction of The Dragon by Evgenii Shvarts (UW-Madison Theatre for Youth) and the world premiere opera The Queen of the Night (Fresco Opera Theatre). A member of Actors’ Equity, Jen holds an MFA from the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
Tom Littrell (Lighting Designer) has lit a number of shows for Four Seasons Theatre including RENT, She Loves Me, The Fantasticks, The Spitfire Grill, and Cabaret @ the Circle. He has worked with Forward Theater, UW-Madison University Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Madison, the Bartell Theatre participating companies, and Broom Street Theatre. Tom is happy to be a part of the great Madison live theatre community. In a sordid past life he toured with David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Genesis, and Led Zeppelin. As always, love to Stacy for her support and encouragement